Tonight’s Delays

Follow Up Line

SERVICE DISRUPTION FOLLOW UP

VIRGINIA RAILWAY EXPRESS (VRE)

Follow Up Line

Tonight’s Delays

Heat related speed restrictions are a common occurrence through the summer months, particularly on the Fredericksburg Line. Of the 12 operating days so far this month, 11 have been impacted by heat orders. The one exception was last Monday when heavy rains created flash flooding which also resulted in speed restrictions.

Tonight, the heat orders were complicated with a fast moving thunderstorm which knocked two trees down on the Manassas Line. VRE train 327 encountered the first downed tree north of Manassas and the crew brought the train to a safe stop. The crew checked the track and tree and were able to proceed south at walking speed past the obstruction. This delayed 327 by 35 minutes into Broad Run.

327 turns at Broad Run to return to Union Station as northbound train 338, which then turns again as the final southbound train 337. 338 departed Broad Run but was then held south of Manassas to allow Norfolk Southern crews to clear the tree. Since 338 was already delayed and the tree clearing was taking longer than we hoped, we opted to cancel 338 and have it return to Broad Run. This cleared the one available track for the other southbound trains to continue their trips.

Since we always want a train to operate on the latest schedule, so no passengers are left without transportation, we held 335 at Alexandria and held Fredericksburg Line train 315 (Departs Union Station at 6:40 pm) at Union Station to come out on 337’s schedule. This enabled all Manassas Line passengers to board the train and then transfer at Alexandria to the waiting 335.

Back on the Manassas Line, train 329 hit the other downed tree causing some minor damage to the locomotive. To stay safe, they operated the remainder of the trip at no faster than 20 mph, and were required to stop and manually flag all road crossings.

All tracks were reopened at 7:10 pm and the congestion began to clear.

Train 315 transferred the Manassas Line passengers at Alexandria and departed Alexandria at 7:15 pm, 12 minutes later than scheduled.

Every afternoon train on the Manassas Line was affected by the downed trees and the resulting track limitations. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by these delays.


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FAQ

FAQ: Why do trains sometimes wait in Alexandria?

If two trains come into Alexandria at approximately the same time, or slightly out of order, they will most likely leave in order of the schedule; even if the next scheduled train arrived later. CSX dispatchers often have trains pre-aligned to crossover based on the schedule. If the dispatcher changes a signal, it has a safety feature that will “time out” and no signal can be obtained for either train for ten minutes. To prevent further delay, the dispatcher will not change the signal.


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Note: Updates are not typically available for delays under 10 minutes as time is often made up en route.